Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Rip it from his throat!" a woman yells..... Church Performs Gay Exorcisms

The video shows the 16-year-old boy lying on the floor, his body convulsing, as elders of a small Connecticut church cast a "homosexual demon" from his body.

"Rip it from his throat!" a woman yells. "Come on, you homosexual demon! You homosexual spirit, we call you out right now! Loose your grip, Lucifer!"

America was built on the concept of freedom of religion. I believe that people are free to choose and practice their own religious and spiritual beliefs in whatever way they choose — within certain limits. The state can, and has, interfered with religious freedom when it identifies the need to protect a child from harm. The question is: Does that apply in the case of a so-called gay exorcism?

Associated Press News Article

Manifested Glory Ministries

Friday, June 26, 2009

Louisville Pastor (New Bethel Church) Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church

Ken Pagano (pictured), the pastor of the New Bethel Church in Louisville, is passionate about gun rights. He shoots regularly at the local firing range, and his sermon two weeks ago was on “God, Guns, Gospel and Geometry.

Saturday night, he is inviting his congregation of 150 and others to wear or carry their firearms into the sanctuary to “celebrate our rights as Americans!” as a promotional flier for the “open carry celebration” puts it.

With gay hate killings the highest in more than 10 years because of gay marriage, and an increasing number of gay pride events nationwide..... this puts the icing on the cake...... a religious leader with a gun; this particular minister may not be 'dangerous with a gun,' encouraging others could be disastrous.

More from the New York Times:

“God and guns were part of the foundation of this country,” Mr. Pagano, 49, said Wednesday in the small brick Assembly of God church, where a large wooden cross hung over the altar and two American flags jutted from side walls. “I don’t see any contradiction in this. Not every Christian denomination is pacifist.”

The bring-your-gun-to-church day, which will include a $1 raffle of a handgun, firearms safety lessons and a picnic, is another sign that the gun culture in the United States is thriving despite, or perhaps because of, President Obama’s election in November.


The National Rifle Association says its membership is up 30 percent since November. And several states have recently passed laws allowing gun owners to carry firearms in more places — bars, restaurants, cars and parks.

Of the 40 states with right-to-carry laws, 20 allow guns in churches.

Public attitudes also seem to be turning more sympathetic to gun owners. In April, the Pew Research Center found for the first time that almost as many people said it was more important to protect the rights of gun owners (45 percent) than to control gun ownership (49 percent). Just a
year ago, Pew said, 58 percent said gun control was more important than the rights of gun owners (37 percent).

Gun-control advocates say they feel increasingly ineffective, especially after a recent spate of high-profile shootings, including last month’s murder, inside a church in Kansas, of a doctor who performed late-term abortions.

“We’ve definitely been marginalized,” said Pam Gersh, a public relations consultant here who helped organize a rally in Louisville in 2000, to coincide with the Million Mom March against guns in Washington.

“The Brady Campaign and other similar organizations who advocate sensible gun responsibility laws don’t have the money and the political power — not even close,” she said. “This pastor is obviously crossing a line here and saying ‘I can even take my guns to church, and there is nothing you can do about it.’ ”

Mr. Pagano said the church’s insurance company, which he would not identify, had canceled the church’s policy for the day on Saturday and told him that it would cancel the policy for good at the end of the year. If he cannot find insurance for Saturday, people will not be allowed in openly carrying their guns.

Arkansas and Georgia recently rejected efforts to allow people to carry concealed weapons in church. Watching the debate in Arkansas was John Phillips, pastor of the Central Church of Christ in Little Rock. In 1986, Mr. Phillips was preaching in a different church there when a gunman shot him and a parishioner. Both survived, but Mr. Phillips, 51, still has a bullet lodged in his spine.

In a telephone interview, he said he found the idea of “packing in the pew” abhorrent.

“There is a movement afoot across the nation, with the gun lobby pushing the envelope, trying to allow concealed weapons to be carried in places where they used to be prohibited — churches, schools, bars,” Mr. Phillips said.

“I don’t understand how any minister who is familiar with the teachings of the Bible can do this,” he added. “Jesus didn’t say, ‘Go ahead, make my day.’ ”

Mr. Pagano takes such comments as a challenge to his faith and says they make him more determined.

“When someone from within the church tells me that being a Christian and having firearms are contradictions, that they’re incompatible with the Gospel — baloney,” he said. “As soon as you start saying that it’s not something that Christians do, well, guns are just the foil. The issue now is the Gospel. So in a sense, it does become a crusade. Now the Gospel is at stake.”

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Proposed marriage amendment sparks protest in Indiana

Gay Recruiters, an Indiana advocacy group for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people is planning a demonstration on July 02, 2009 in Bloomington to fight a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage in the State of Indiana.

Calling it a 'Marriage Counter Sit-In for Equality,' in the Monroe County Justice Building, a rally is to occur simultaneously outside the justice building.

Founder Lillie Aydt says the goal of the demonstration is to prevent legislation similar to California's Proposition 8 outlawing same sex marriage. Recent legislative attempts to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana have passed the state Senate but have failed in the Indiana House.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gay hate killings highest since 1999

The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people killed in bias-motivated incidents increased by 28 percent in 2008 compared to a year ago, according to a national coalition of advocacy groups.

Last year’s 29 killings was the highest recorded by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs since 1999, when it documented the same number of slayings, according to a report released Tuesday by the coalition.

Coalition officials say their figures are more accurate than those from law enforcement agencies. As an example, the FBI doesn’t record bias crimes against transgender people because gender identity isn’t covered by federal hate-crime law.

In addition, victims sometimes are reluctant to report bias incidents to police because they don’t want to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity and/or they fear bias from police.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to 'don't ask, don't tell' as Obama administration requested

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge (Pietrangelo v. Gates, 08-824) to the U.S. Defense Department policy forbidding gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, granting a request by the Obama administration.

The court refused to hear an appeal from former Army Capt. James Pietrangelo II, who was dismissed under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

In public papers, the Obama administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that "don't ask, don't tell" is "rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion."

During last year's campaign, President Barack Obama pledged to overturn the policy, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January. Meanwhile, the White House has said it will not stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military.

"The law requires the (Defense) Department to separate from the armed services members who engage in or attempt to engage in homosexual acts; state they are homosexual or bisexual; or marry or attempt to marry a person of the same biological sex," Whitman said in a statement.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Who cares that Cheney supports gay marriage? U.S. Supreme Court said it lacked the authority to rule on gay marriage

So does anyone really care that former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney now supports gay marriage? He certainly did not when he was the sitting U.S. Vice President. Not to mention that the U.S. Vice President is also the ex-officio President of the United States Senate (a member of a body who is part of it by virtue of holding another office).

During every photo opportunity the Cheney's had with their granddaughter, they never included their lesbian daughter in any of the photo's. Say what you will, but the President cannot force the Vice President/President of the U.S. Senate to do anything, much less force him to leave his lesbian daughter and her partner out of photo's.

This week, Dick voiced his support for same-sex marriage, as long as it is handled by the states and not the federal government. The former U.S. VP said "people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."

Hmmm. Why didn't he say this when it would have actually carried weight.......when he was President of the U.S. Senate, or the U.S. Vice President?

We still have a long way to go for marriage equality.

In 1971, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Minnesota law limited marriage to opposite-sex couples, and that this limitation did not violate the United States Constitution. The plaintiffs appealed, and the United States Supreme Court, 409 U.S. 810 (1972), dismissed the appeal "for want of [a] substantial federal question," meaning the U.S. Supreme Court lacked the authority to rule or override the Minnesota Supreme Court. That dismissal by the Supreme Court of the United States constituted a decision on the merits, and established Baker v. Nelson as the controlling precedent as a matter of federal constitutional law on the absence of federal authority regarding same-sex marriage.

This is one of many reasons gay rights organizations are so outraged about the latest federal lawsuit. (previous story)

Challenges to DOMA have already been rejected by several federal courts, including a decision by Judge James S. Moody in the case of Wilson v. Ake.

Most legal scholars believe that the federal government cannot impose a definition of marriage onto the laws of the various states.

Now, there is all this talk about a march on Washington, D.C.! When will people learn that the battle for marriage equality must be waged within our states? Even the U.S. Supreme Court has said so!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

2010 Elections to provide more anti-gay legislation

With an election year just around the corner (2010), it is all but certain that Kentucky lawmakers will file anti-gay legislation in a misguided attempt to appeal to their conservative base in order to get elected again.

During the last election year, Kentucky House members filed legislation to prevent Kentucky public institutions from offering domestic-partner benefits.

That wasn't even the worst of it, over a dozen of the co-sponsors of the bill belonged to the Democratic Party. Kentucky Equality Federation accused several of the lawmakers of lying (
previous story). This was a fight we fought year after year for several years (including a special session called by then Governor Fletcher which included the ban on domestic-partner benefits), and I'm amazed it was not proposed again during the 2009 legislative session.

During the 2008 legislative session, House and Senate members also pushed the new "In God We Trust" license plate legislation (previous story) to appeal to their conservative base.

To complicate things further this year for the LGBTI community, one of the most powerful anti-gay groups in the nation, Liberty Counsel went on high alert in January. Liberty Counsel went as far as to call the Office of U.S. President and the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives an 'axis of power.' (previous story).

This year the Family Foundation of Kentucky has toured the Commonwealth with their "Save Marriage Initiatives" (previous story).

Senate Bill 68 in 2009 was only the beginning of the attack the LGBTI community of Kentucky has in store for it with the 2010 elections around the corner.

Though the general election will not take place until November 02, 2010, lawmakers will attempt to 'make a name for themselves' by filing whatever legislation is necessary to get elected to office again (as they have in the past). I for one am sick and tired of being used as a political target simply because I'm gay.

LGBTI rights organizations can only do so much to protect the LGBTI community; the rest requires direct action from the LGBTI community and our straight allies..... to become engaged in the fight for equality by volunteering or making financial donations.